When I turned 50, there was nothing in my life that pointed to the huge upheaval that would take place over the following decade.
At the age of 55, I was married and we were test-driving a very comfy early retirement in southern climes – and I know now – shit happens. By the time I turned 60, I was single and I’d lost nearly 50% of my retirement nest egg. Few employers were ready or willing to hire a 60 year old woman. After many, many months of job searching, I can confirm that ageism is alive and well in our community. But more about that in a later blog.
I will be forever grateful to Over 55 in London Ontario for the support during this time. I held my breath, crossed my fingers and invested my savings on my a new start. I took the plunge.
A series of challenges and surprises followed in very short order. I had to drastically change my lifestyle, learn new skills and develop a new attitude. It seemed to me it was “sink or swim” and I had no choice! I learned to swim. Along the way, I found new interests, work, activities and opportunities I never knew existed.
Michelle L. Casto, aka Bright Michelle wrote about the Four Stages of a Life Transformation:
Stage 1: Cocoon
This stage is characterized by feelings of comfort, as you are beginning to awaken to the need to change. You begin to realize you could be so much more and recognize an error in judgment or dysfunctional pattern (s).
Stage 2: Change
This stage is characterized by feelings of discomfort, as you are beginning to stretch yourself, your abilities, your environment. You may look, feel, and act differently than before. You experience new ways of being and thinking and have the desire to transform yourself.
Stage 3: Flight
This stage is characterized by feelings of confidence and courage, as you spread your wings to leave your old home to find a new home. You now recognize yourself as a beautiful creature, have excitement about future possibilities and you just do it.
Stage 4: Conscious
This stage is characterized by feelings of inner peace and joy, as you remember and realize who you really are.
***Based on the workbook, Life Transformation 101: How to make life changes and let your soul be your guide